Since January, troops with ties to the state have been dying at a relentless average of more than two or three a week in Iraq. The

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And Counting

23 new faces for theĀ obit columns.

Since January, troops with ties to the state have been dying at a relentless average of more than two or three a week in Iraq. The 23 (!) newest obituaries added to the Facing Our Losses pages brings the 2007 toll to 61 - 208 since the war began. In the five days since that posting, three others have died. It is tragic enough they perished, but doubly so when the body count continues to soar long after the Bush administration's justifications for the war have proved false. Even if the fighting ended today, the toll will long rise on the home front, as experience shows. To that point, the Associated Press has launched a series on the war wounded, how they're coping and whether the government is serving those who served the country. History shows you can count on the U.S. breaking that promise, as the Washington Post's February expose of Walter Reed Army Medical Center shows. Most recent case in point: The psychiatric wards at Seattle and American Lake VA hospitals flunking their May accreditation inspections, which found imminent threats to the lives of mental-health inpatients. One veteran hanged himself in a bathroom. He might have survived a war but not the hospital.

 
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